Saturday, January 31, 2009

There's Lots of "Help" Out There

MUSIC: "Help"

The internet has become such a wonderful resource for me over these past couple of years. For those of you who might be new to the world of cancer, you need to know that there are many, many cancer related websites that will help to answer alot of your unknowns with regards to treatments, side effects, medical professionals, etc for the type of cancer you are dealing with. On my website, I'm primarily posting references for RCC, even though I would like to list areas of interest for other types of cancer, but it would be impossible for me to do that right now due to time limits.

My website is visited by viewers all over the world from the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Hawaii, Japan, US, and the list goes on. Truly amazing how the internect can connect you instantly to so many people who are experiencing similiar trials and tribulations! So, today I'm going to let you know about a new website that's recently been developed that will provide a support network all over the UK. Of course we can all check it out, as there is an abundance of information on kidney cancer resources, there's a patient forum where you can connect with others via email or right onsite, as well as a support forum shown on a map that will indicate other people who are affected by kidney cancer. You should never feel that you are alone along your journey with RCC or any other type of cancer. The link is as follows

This is just one such link that I'm providing and there are numerous others. I hope to post more in the upcoming days.

Also on my blog, if you scroll down the left side to the area "My Blog List", you will connect as well with other patients and caregivers who have all been affected by RCC. These are incredible individuals who through their own struggles with cancer, offer a great support and information system to all viewers.

The main theme of today's post is that everyone should note that the information highway for any type of cancer is becoming very fast-paced with numerous lanes added everyday. It is impossible to just sit back and think you know everything there is to know about your type of cancer because in reality, treatments and medical innovations can change in an instant. It is up to you to keep searching!!!
Oh, and did I mention that there is always HELP to be found right here whenever you need it!

Friday, January 30, 2009

It's Your Choice

MUSIC: "It's Your Life"

Reflect upon your present blessings - of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some

My topic today could be controversial for many, but based upon the experiences my husband and I have encountered since his journey with RCC began, I speak only from our perspective.

Yesterday I spoke with a woman who had undergone surgery a few months ago for breast cancer. She has recently been experiencing some discomfort and of course is fearing the worse, even though her doctor continues to reassure her that no further treatments are needed and her cancer is completely gone. She is now doubtful about her initial surgery as it was performed by a general practitioner and she has never, ever seen an ocologist despite the severity of her initial cancer diagnosis.

From a personal perspective, I would most definitely encourage any cancer patient to obtain testing and diagnosis from an oncologist before any surgery is performed. If your type of cancer has been confirmed, then seeking medical advice and direction from a cancer specialist in that particular field of cancer would be even more beneficial to you. I never knew such people existed a few months ago. Call me stupid, but hind sight is twenty-twenty. I know now that connecting with a doctor who specializes in renal cell carcinoma or RCC was the best thing my husband ever did!!! Specialists have the credentials and experience related to specific types of cancer. They are up-to-date on the latest innovations and medical treatments for particular cancers and they have the experience of what works and what doesn't, based on their patients files and constant contact with other medical specialists.

Even though your general practitioner is knowledgeable about your medical history, he/she is not an expert in a particular field of cancer.....but specialists are!!! maybe you are very fortunate to have a general practition taking care of you who is in constant contact with a specialist in your type of cancer. If so, then you are receiving very good care. Unfortunately though, I'm certain that alot of practitioneres and even oncologists don't always connect with "the experts" in their patient's particular field of cancer. How can any oncologist who is not keeping contact with cancer specialists, ever keep up-to-date with the most medical treatments, etc in any one particular area of cancer?

If you had a major health problem during pregnancy, would you feel more confident in the hands of your family physician or with a doctor who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology? Cancer is a major health need I say more!

As the song says, "It's Your Life" so NEVER be afraid to ask for a second opinion. You have the most to lose by not doing so and you deserve the best medical care possible.

I'm providing this link for additional information

Info on Calendar Events

Just a quick bit of information with regards to the calendar that I've added and related events.

When an event is posted, just click on the text shown on a particular day (i.e. Feb. 11th or Feb. 14th) to open a smaller window which will provide some information about that particular item and then click the MORE DETAILS tab for a link to the related website and all relevant info.

I will be listing primarily events for RCC patients, but I would encourage all cancer patients to check the information, as many of the links will usually include other seminars, etc for many different types of cancer.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Calendar Added

MUSIC: "Calendar Girl"

So, by adding today's song, I figure by now I have gotten your attention and you've noticed the new calendar added to the site. It's rather big, but again I wanted it to grab your attention. For new viewers, please note the Chat Forum that is avalable on Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings and for the regular chatters, we will still continue to connect at random. All are welcome on the Chat Forum if you are affected by cancer in any way as patient, caregiver, family or friends.

I'll also be adding any cancer related seminars or items that will be of interest to primarily RCC patients (i.e. Feb. 11th). Even though I would like to expand the site to include information about all types of cancer, at the moment it would be impossible to do so due to time constrains.

Bear with me, as the layout of the site is becoming a little crowded, but since I have no technical expertise in the area of web design, I'm quite pleased that I've managed to develop this blog so far. All suggestions are welcome at anytime and if you would like a particular upcoming event that is of interest to RCC patients, please pass it along to me in the COMMENTS section under any post.

Look forward to meeting new viewers on the chat soon!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

There's Always Beauty

MUSIC: "Baby It's Cold Outside"

Make the most of a not so sunny winter's day!

“Adversity is like a strong wind…it doesn’t just hold us back from places we might otherwise go. It also tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that afterward, we see ourselves as we really are, and not merely as we might like to be."

Most of us are in the middle of winter with very low temperatures. Thought I would post some winter photos along with a song to suit the season.

"Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snow, lies the seed that with the sun's love, in the spring, becomes the rose..."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Cancer Workshops

There are various Telephone Education Workshops for cancer patients over the next few months as posted on the following link

There's one in particular for RCC patients entitled "Progress in the Treatment of Renal Cell Cancer" on February 11, 2009

Registration is required in order to participate and this should be done well in advance. Once you are registered, you will receive confirmation via email. Approximately one week before the workshop, you will then receive a toll free number and instructions on how to join the call.

History Has Unfolded

History Unfolded

History unfolded in 2009 on January 20th for all of mankind
When not only one nation but two hundred plus more
Watched a man create history, too profound to ignore.
The whole world needs mending, many changes to make
And this one chosen man will succeed, just you wait!
With father from Kenya, black roots that run deep
The African people with pride they did weep.
His mother from Kansas, a dreamer was she
Who thought not of “what was”, but of just what “might be”.

History unfolded this cold Tuesday morn
Barack Hussein Obama today would be sworn
As 44th President of the US of A,
Over two million on lookers applauded his way.
From the Washington Monument to Capital Hill
Crowds huddled together the cold winds to distill.
A sea of humanity, sights never seen
All races gathered to be part of this dream.
Classrooms from Africa, Indonesia too
All around the world had a piece of the view.

History unfolded when Obama ran
For the Presidential seat saying “I know I can”
With Michelle by his side right from the start
They devoted their lives to follow their heart!
They led by example, their campaign was clean
Personal attacks never were seen.
Their down-to-earth characters shone everywhere
We knew from the start that they really did care.
When the ballots were counted the winner was clear
Obama would win and the whole world would cheer!

History unfolded as the red lights appear
Motorcades, armored cars, sirens we hear
They’ve just left the church as they worshipped with God
For nothing is possible without His love from above.
Then up to the White House to meet with the Bushes
Michelle brought a gift, there was coffee, best wishes
A letter hand written is there for Barack
From President Bush, then a little more talk
The transition is friendly, both men form a bond
Then within a few minutes both families are gone.

History unfolded as ex-Presidents came
The west front of the Capitol enveloped such fame
Five flags hung with pride showing stars and proud stripes
Brass bands, honor guards, a regal feel was the hype.
And then the announcement came over the speaker
And most of the crowd became so much weaker
As the President-elect slowly moved to his spot
And I couldn’t help wonder just what was his thought
As he looked out over the waving crowd
Each person holding their heads so proud
For this was a man who could bring hope and peace
And a chance for the world that wars would soon cease.

History unfolded as a prayer was then heard
Asking God to grant wisdom then the following words
Commitment to freedom and justice for all
The Lord’s Prayer filled the air at the National Mall.
Tears fell like rain as Aretha then sang
And Obama nodded at “Let Freedom Reign”.
Another performance of a new “Simple Gifts”
And the music rang out and all spirits did lift.
I looked at Obama and he was enthralled
Whatever his thoughts, it was between him and God.

History unfolded when that moment came
It was then they announced Barack Obama’s name
And everyone there was invited to stand as
John Roberts, Chief Justice said “raise your right hand”
The Lincoln Bible was held by Michelle with such care
And Obama repeated each word with an air
Of confidence, honor his words so sincere
And as he was pledging there was many a tear.
What a moment for man and for country, the world
In our hearts we are hoping that change has unfurled.

History unfolded as Obama began
With his speech to the Nation and his words “Yes We Can”!
And “so it has been and so it must be”
Mankind are all equal and mankind are all free!
And then words from the Scripture for all now to follow
Set aside childish things for there’s no time to wallow.
Let’s start the work, let’s not delay
All things we CAN do and WILL do, this I say!
Then final remarks about expectations
America’s a friend to all peaceful nations!

History unfolded
as I saw his lapel
And his US pin, it shone oh so well.
He continued to say that old hatreds would pass
And he’d extend a hand if your fist you’ll unclasp.
He spoke of brave soldiers in deserts at war
Of courage, and kindness and then many more
Traits of hard work and loyalty too
And how they are old, but ever so true.
And to brave icy currents as we carry the torch
Freedom to all generations, we can carry it forth.

History unfolded
on this 20th day
The whole world was watching and I’m sure they would say
That Barack is the one that we’ve been waiting for
To bring change to our world, we could not ask for more.
It’s not going to happen though, just overnight
He will need some time to get it done right
He can’t do it alone, we must all do our part
We must all make a pledge that’s sincere from our heart.
With such a great leader that we’ve welcomed today
As history unfolds we can bring change our way!

History unfolded we have all been inspired
Obama brings HOPE, it is him we admire
We should all take a lead, give it time and don’t grumble
Watch this man, help your neighbor, be a little more humble.
Obama has proved that you just can’t sit by
Your hopes and your dreams can come true if you try
He’s proof it can happen…the impossible CAN
Now become POSSIBLE if we follow this man.
There’s great change in the air, a new world can be molded
We can all play our part now has history’s unfolded.

© Debbie Andrews

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

As History Unfolds

MUSIC: "America the Beautiful"

Today is proof that the IMPOSSIBLE "can" become

Monday, January 19, 2009


MUSIC: "You Can Make it if You Try"

Over this past weekend, I've been watching many news items of President-elect Barack Obama and listening to his speeches. Just one more day to go before he becomes the 44th President of the US. I am always amazed at how relaxed he appears and how eloquently he speaks. My first impression of him is one of "down-to-earth" characteristics and how he attracts the everyday person with his warm smile and friendly approach. But more importantly, everytime I hear him speak, he leaves me with HOPE and INSPIRATION!

Having "HOPE" can bring about amazing things and without hope you may as well just give up. It's the same for cancer patients. When your doctor first gives you the dreaded news that you have cancer, it is life shattering and it is devastating. But now with modern technologies and new innovations in medicines and treatments for various types of cancer, extending your longevity or even beating it is becoming more and more the norm, as statistics prove without a doubt that cancer patients are beating the odds and living far beyond any medical predictions. Our family knows from real life experiences that you just have to maintain a strong sense of HOPE. As I see my husband's three year anniversary looming on the horizon since the medical experts told him that they had no hope of his surviving, I for one, know that our family's hope has made the difference between my husband's living and dying. HOPE just does not happen!!! You cannot just lie down and accept your have to keep searching, keep communicating and keep the faith!!!

Being INSPIRED goes hand in hand with HOPE. As caregivers and family members of cancer patients, it is our duty to keep those affected with cancer, inspired as much as possible. It's the little things that can help lift their spirits when everything just seems too impossible to bear. Each of us will do it differently and over time you will learn new ways to inspire others, but it is vital to keep your loved ones motivated so that they will have the determination to never quit!!!

I'll be watching tomorrow's inauguration very closely. I'm not even a US citizen, but needless to say I myself want to be there as history unfolds and more importantly to hear the President's speech. Inspiration and Hope is good for any soul and I can assure you that YOU will feel energized by what Mr. Obama will have to say.

When you think about it, who of us would have predicted even three years ago that by tomorrow the first black president of the United States of America would be sworn into office? Not many! It was through determination, hard work and a strong will to never give up, that Barack Obama will make this happen. When you think about it, who would have predicted three years ago that my husband would continue to beat the odds?

So, to state my case to cancer patients once again............don't just accept your fate as being something you cannot change. At least have HOPE to fight your best and win the race against cancer!!! I trust that others will INSPIRE you to keep going when the route is rough to travel.

Keep searching, keep communicating and KEEP THE FAITH!!!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday Medley

MUSIC: "I Can Only Imagine"

"Lord I Lift Your Name on High"

"God is in This Place"

Friday, January 16, 2009

I'm Back

It's Been Awhile

Haven't posted anything for quite a few now, most of you must think I've totally forgotten about this site and have given it up.

I've had a bad flu bug!!! Now I'm usually the one who never gets a cold, but this time I did. It's taken me quite a few days to get back to my old self.

Can't thank my chatters enough for all of your kind comments!!! Your concern and encouragement through the forum as well as via email has been appreciated more than I can ever relate here. Thank you all once again.

These past few days though have once again made me realize a little of how it feels to be sick. I was only under the weather for a few days, but it has made me appreciate even more, all of those who endure the BIG stuff.

I have the greatest respect for all you HEROES who forge ahead on difficult days.
Thanks to everyone for continuing to check in on my site, even though the music has remained the same for many days now with no new posts. You are very loyal followers for sure. I have lots to catch up on, and I will!!!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Sunday Medley

MUSIC: "He is My Everything"
"I Believe"
"Roses Will Bloom Again"

Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Powerful Interview

!!!Don't forget to turn OFF the music before playing the videos!!!
MUSIC: "Won't Back Down"

As I watched last night's interview with Patrick Swayze on ABC, instantly I knew he was a true fighter agaist cancer. Anyone who listened to him speak, will certainly agree that he is not just going to accept the medical experts diagnosis of a short term longevity. His determination to keep positive despite the odds and to ignore all of the bad publicity about the length of time he has left, are true ingredients to his winning this battle.

After all.....he just finished acting in a new television series and is soon going to begin another such role. He admits that some days are very difficult while struggling with side effects from chemo, but he does not let that hold him back. Living each day to the fullest has become his motto for survival.

Why do I tell you all of this? It's because I also know from a personal perspective that you just can't always accept the medical diagnosis. My husband is also proof that you can beat the odds. It won't be easy, but if you are committed to maintaining that positive attitude and an inner fight to win, then you WILL and CAN do it!

Far too many patients just go home after a bad report and give up all hope for their survival. Keep searching, keep fighting and most of all keep the faith!

I hope you will be inspired to continue your fight with cancer!!!

Mr. Swayze and my husband are proof that you sometimes CAN beat the odds no matter how high they are stacked against you.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Patrick Swayze Interview Tonight!

MUSIC: "Bring the Rain"

Just wanted to let you know about the Barbara Walters interview tonight on ABC at 10:00pm ET with Patrick Swayze who was diagnosed late 2007 with pancreatic cancer.

He will inspire you as he speaks of Never Giving Up and about the importance of having HOPE!

Attaching this link, if you would like to read more information:

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

A Community of Cancer Support

MUSIC: "I'll Be There For You"

Last night I reconnected with a few of our regular chatters on the chat forum. It was wonderful to exchange conversation about what's been happening to each of us over the past few weeks. Even though we have not been chatting due mostly to the Christmas holidays as well as personal committments, I for one definitely missed our weekly chats.

As I thought a little more today about everyone who I have had the priviledge to meet on the chat since starting this website, I realized that even though we share a common thread of cancer, each of us live everyday with the many faces of cancer. Even in our small group, each of us is affected so very differently due to cancer and none of our experiences are exactly the same. I'm not sure if there is any other illness out there that has so many variables and uncertainties.

We are a group of cancer patients and caregivers. We are voices that share our knowledge of cancer from real life experiences. From diagnosis to testing to treatments and to normal chit chat. We feel each other's distraught when a bad report is given and we also feel each other's happiness when good news is received. We learn from each other and most of all, we all understand just what those affected with cancer are going through.

Even if you are not personally affected by cancer, you can still create a special bond with someone who is. Driving them to a doctor's appointment, lending an ear to listen and just being there, or preparing a meal for that patient whose had a difficult day will mean more than you can ever imagine.

If you would like to join our chat, we are usually on around 8:00pm-10:00pm at the time indicated on our website calendar. Hope to see you there!

I'd like to leave the following words that I received from a cancer patient just this morning. It will put what I am saying into the proper perspective.

Whatever time I have, I am going to make it count!

Monday, January 05, 2009

2009 A New Beginning

One Moment in Time

It's difficult to believe that we have just entered into the new year of 2009.

Seems like it was just a couple of years ago that we were all anticipating the Y2K and the uncertainties of what the next millenium would bring to all of us.

Many of you may have made resolutions at the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31st as it's the time to start anew.
I trust you have all have the opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends over the Christmas season and have taken the time to reflect on past year's events.
As our family turns another page in this new year, we are very grateful for all we have been blessed with. Although 2008 has had it's difficult moments, it is through my husband's strong belief in God and in these three small words of
Faith Hope Love
that has given him the strength and courage to keep going, despite many difficulties along the way. Most people would have definitely given up by now, but we know that miracles can happen!
On New Year's Day I delivered a Christmas present to a friend. She is receiving chemo treatments and is awaiting surgery. There are no words to describe her warm, friendly smile and the joy that she radiates to everyone she meets. She is definitely a true HERO and after my visit, I was so thankful for taking the time to visit with her.
Cancer puts things into perspective.....and makes you realize the true meaning of thankfulness!
My website address will soon be changing and I hope to add new features as well. I look forward to meeting new cancer patients and caregivers throughout 2009 and I especially look forward to reconnecting with our regular chatters on the Cancer Cafe forum. I encourage you to join with us, as it offers support and encouragement to all.